Kirkus Reviews QR Code
AVIELLE OF RHIA by Dia Calhoun


by Dia Calhoun

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7614-5320-2
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Spirited characters and vividly multi-hued descriptions buoy unsubtle politics in this terrorism/racism tale. Princess Avielle, 15, has silver skin and hair because her few Dredonian genes show through her Rhian heritage. Dredonian Rhians are disliked in Rhia, especially Avielle, whose bloodline contains a curse from an ancestor who banished birds forever. Despite her family’s disdain for her, Avielle’s devastated when they’re killed by a terrorist attack that razes the castle. She takes mostly anonymous refuge in a neighborhood of craftspeople and slowly makes friends for the first time. Mentor Gamalda brings out Avielle’s magic through weaving. Each weaving session places Avielle in a picturesque “dreaming trance” that holds clues to her destiny, a destiny with moral requirements that she’s inexplicably slow to comprehend. Calhoun overuses the word “evil” and sometimes fumbles her earnest messages about race and gender, but the narration is appealingly visual and the characters full of heart. (Fantasy. 10-14)